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A women-only fitness center offering 30-minute total body circuit workouts.

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  • Established: 1992
  • Founder: Gary and Diane Heavin
  • Headquarters: Waco, Texas
  • Accessibility: Fitness facilities and gyms
  • Diet Type: 30 minute workout circuit training
  • Gender: Female
  • Celebrity Endorsements: Jillian Michaels

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Women have hectic schedules, balancing work and family, without time to schedule a workout. Curves, a nationwide fitness network for women only, solves a busy girl’s problems.

Curves offers 30-minute workouts three times a week and approaches diet and fitness practically for the modern-day woman with a full schedule. Each gym employs trained professionals (although, these aren't necessarily certified personal trainers or exercise physiologists) to teach women how to use equipment and how to perform exercises. Plus, Curves fitness facilities are just for women so any discomfort they might feel in a co-ed gym is instantly relieved.

Curves expanded its diet and fitness options in 2012 with Curves Complete, a total weight loss solution for busy women combining fitness, meal plans, and coaching. Curves Complete provides a wealth of resources, community support and diet and fitness experts – now including famed trainer for Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels.

Starting January 2014, Curves launched Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels. According to Mike Raymond, the Chief Marketing Officer for Curves, the Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels will add Michaels’ renowned methods for training and coaching to Curves’ traditional circuit workout. Each month, Michaels will update the workouts by introducing new moves.

Participating Curves centers offer 2 memberships: Curves Fitness and Curves Complete.

Curves Fitness memberships include access to Curves Specialty Circuit Classes and Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels. This membership focuses only on fitness and workouts.

Curves Complete memberships offer access to all fitness classes of the Curves Fitness membership, plus customizable meal plans and weekly one-on-one support from a Curves Complete Coach. Each Curves Complete Coach has completed a certification program developed in conjunction with Cleveland Clinic.

  • World’s largest chain of fitness centers for women, with thousands of locations across North America
  • Workouts are short and manageable
  • Female-only gym for a comfortable, supportive atmosphere
  • Employs trained professionals for instruction and motivation
  • Celebrity diet and fitness spokesperson Jillian Michaels creates new workouts
  • Nutrition and diet plans offer low-calorie and low-carb options
  • Includes online diet and fitness resources
  • Additional in-person and online resources are available
  • Nutrition and diet plans cut certain foods, specifically high-carb grains
  • Website does not detail nutrition and diet plan before membership
  • Franchised facilities might not provide the same quality of experience at each one
  • Males are not allowed to join Curves

Curves provides online diet and nutrition plans with the gym membership. A self-assessment determines which of the two diet plans a woman follows. One plan calls for a low-calorie diet, and the other plan calls for a high-protein, low-carb diet. Both plans call for six small meals throughout the day.

The low-calorie diet simply requires women to cut their daily intake to 1,400 calories per day in the first phase. After the first two weeks, intake is increase to up to 1,600 calories. The low-calorie diet plan could be considered too little for more active women wanting to increase muscle mass and metabolism. For women wanting to lose weight, the low-calorie diet plan would be effective, but the sustainability of a low-calorie diet is questionable.

The high-protein, low-carb diet plan limits carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams per day during the first two week. After that, intake is increased to 40 grams per day. The plan encourages women to avoid pasta, rice, bread and potatoes, among other high-carb foods, which could be ineffective for more active woman, especially runners.

A typical day on the Curves’ high-protein, low-carb plan looks like:

  • Breakfast: Blueberries on low-carb cereal
  • Snack: Protein shake
  • Lunch: Salad made with dark greens, cooked chicken, avocado and vinaigrette dressing
  • Snack: Celery stalks with peanut butter
  • Dinner: Grilled lean steak, green beans, mushrooms and peppers
  • Snack: Whole almonds

In addition, the Curves six-meal diet plans might be ineffective for the women the fitness network wants to target: busy working women with hectic schedules. Women balancing work and family might not be able to eat six times a day or even have time to prepare six meals a day.


Curves built its fitness network on the Curves Circuit, a five-part program completed in 30 minutes. Women warm up, complete aerobic exercises and strength training, and then cool down and complete stretching exercises. At Curves gyms, women can jump in to a circuit at any point and go until they’ve completed the full workout.

Women alternate between strength training machines and cardiovascular exercises. Machines focus on strengthening major muscle groups. Between each machine, women recover by walking, jogging or running in place to maintain heart rate throughout the circuit.

In order to complete the Curves circuit, women must be at a Curves gym. The machine-only approach might be effective for women just learning to exercise but also might not be strenuous enough for women who are more knowledgeable about weight training and for women who need different types of lifts offered by free weight and body weight exercises.

The January 2014 launch of Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels adds Michaels’ cutting-edge style to the traditional Curves circuit workout. New exercises, tools and programs will be added monthly and throughout 2014 as the integration between the two famed weight loss coaches continues.

Participating Curves feature CurvesSmart, a digital coaching system that helps keep members motivated by providing instant feedback, suggestions and progress reports detailing stats like muscles worked and calories burned.

In 2015, Curves introduced 3 new classes: The Introductory class, which is appropriate for all levels, and works to gradually build strength, conditioning and endurance in the whole body, and The Level One class, which is offers a more advanced total body workout, and the Level Two class, which offers a high-intensity interval workout to burn major calories.

Curves also introduced their Specialty Circuit Classes, designed to meet the needs of women in their 40’s, 50’s, and beyond, focusing on balance, flexibility, and strength.

These classes include:

BODY BALANCE- a low-intensity, Coach-led class alternating time on the Curves Circuit strength machines with intervals emphasizing core strength and stability. ARMS-CORE-LEGS- targeted bodyweight moves designed to tone and strengthen the arms, core and legs. STRETCH & STRENGTH- stretch and strengthen the same muscle groups back to back


Women looking for an easy way to fit a fast workout into their busy schedules can find a 30-minute option at the nearest Curves gym. The comfort of a female-only setting adds to the knowledge of the trained fitness professionals on staff – all of whom were trained to team the Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels. The addition of online nutrition and diet plans, Curves Complete and CurvesSmart ID make the Curves fitness network a total weight loss solution for busy women. However, for women looking for more adaptable total weight loss plans, specifically in diet and in types of exercises, Curves and its products and services might not be a viable solution.

Common Misspellings

Curve, Curves deit program, curves for women, curves.com, curves jillian michaels


Curves International, also known as Curves for Women, Curves Fitness, or just Curves, is an international fitness franchise co-founded by Gary and Diane Heavin in 1995. Curves currently has 10,000 locations worldwide and an estimated 4 million plus members (as of October 2006). It is a privately held company by its co-founders, with corporate offices located in Waco, Texas. Curves fitness and weight loss facilities are designed specifically for and focused on women, although in some states, men are allowed to join.

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(Page 5 of 10, 181 total comments)



Curves is great.

posted Jan 6th, 2009 9:20 pm



I had been going to curves all through college, when I was my slimmest. I, also, walked several miles a day. I stopped going to curves & went to a regular gym & I did not notice a difference. Currently, I re-joined curves & I run an inline a few days a week in addition to curves. I think the best option is to do curves & cardio on the side. I do think curves works. This is coming from someone who has used their workout & not in a matter of 6 years.

posted Jan 4th, 2009 11:11 am



I bought the Curves Book some time ago and it's been extremely helpful and effective. Over a period of 6 months I lost 45 pounds, many inches, and gained tone and energy. The book has an interesting and motivating section on nutrition and the Curves rational, a good home exercise regimen that you can even travel with (only thing you need to buy is a resistance band), and diet plans complete with menus and grocery lists. I planned to start with the book and if I liked it join Curves - but the book was all I needed. Highly recommend - just remember it takes two; the book won't do your exercise and lose your weight for you!

posted Nov 18th, 2008 5:27 pm



I have been going to Curves for about 18 months and have lost 10 lbs and many inches. I was not noticebly overweight, but have been told by SO many people that I have lost weight and trimmed down and look GREAT!! These are people who did not know I wanted to lose any weight or that I was doing exercise. I walk on the days that I don't go to Curves, and I am careful what I eat, but I don't really diet.
More importantly, I feel fitter and suffer from less headaches. I know this would happen with any regular exercise, but as I virtually did no exercise until I was 42, a program that keeps me committed is very important.
It is fun to go, the music is great and I REALLY sweat. Anyone who doesn't is not putting in the necessary effort. The machines work on resistance, so you can spend 30 secs on machine, just moving with it, or you can work!

posted Nov 10th, 2008 6:32 am



I love Curves! I joined this month and love the workout. I too just listen to others talk. Everyone is friendly and asks if I'm OK or need any help. Nothing comes easy so if you want something out of it you need to put some extra effort into it. All I know is this: I work up a sweat and love it! It's the only workout I have stuck to.

posted Oct 23rd, 2008 1:33 pm


I wasn't impressed with the center near me, the machines were never moved to prevent boredom in the circuit and the employees save 2 left alot to be desired. Not watching senior patrons closely and two women were almost injured. Not good. The program is fun but the music gets stale.

posted Sep 25th, 2008 9:06 am


How can I get out of my 1 year contract. My club is VERY boring and never anyone there...and the MUSIC is best suited for an elevator!!

posted Sep 5th, 2008 8:26 pm


I have been a member of Curves since 2001. It is the only program I have stuck too and gone back to after injuries. I lost 5 lbs the first month with exercise alone. I lost a total of 42 lbs. and the only time I can 5-10lbs back is when I slack off and don't go. It can be what you want it to be.Anyone who says Curves does not make you sweat or gives you a good workout has not put their all into it. I exercised at all times ofthe day and every group I met was friendly. Our club in AZ even does girls night out as many people in AZ have moved from out of state. We now have the Smart computer program and it really makes you work and my heart rate is at 75-80% for my workouts.I LOVE CURVES !!

posted Sep 2nd, 2008 8:37 am


Don't waste your money. The routine becomes very boring and barely makes you break a sweat. If you truly want to loose weight - learn to eat right. As for exersize see a real fitness trainer not a wannabee. Buyer beware!

posted Aug 28th, 2008 11:08 pm

Doesn't work

two of my friends joined Curves. They go three x's a week, follow the diet and have each lost about 10 pounds in 3 months, but you can't SEE any weight loss. They still look as huge as they did when they joined. One actually, looks BIGGER! Curves, workout is not a workout that shows any results. Every woman that I know who went to curves, still looks obese. What a waste of money!

posted Aug 27th, 2008 10:09 pm


I am very obese. I joined 4 months ago and I haven't lost much weight, but I FEEL GREAT. Now if I could just stick to a diet, I might lose some weight. I think Curves is saving my life and I love it!

posted Aug 21st, 2008 4:14 pm


I joined curves about 4 years ago, I love it, the staff is great, helpful and the owner is a delight to be around. It can be social but you can choose not to engage in the socializing that goes on around you, it's your time to exerise if you don't want to talk don't no one is making you talk, again I love it I lost total of 50 lbs/inches in the 4 years.

posted Aug 17th, 2008 9:42 am


i have seen reference to an "up to" $50 fee to cancel a membership. is this true? i was told that there was no way out of my contract at all, that i simply had to continue paying even if i would not be going to the club.

posted Aug 14th, 2008 10:04 am


I am currently thinking about joining Curves, so I am doing my "homework" before joining... Reading the above comments has pushed me toward the commitment. I used to be an exercise 'junkie,' working with weights. Then I went into exercise 'retirement!' I am knowledgable in using machines, and can read! At the Curves that I visited, they had directions (that looked like they came from the machine manufacturer) at each machine. In response to 'Debating in NOLA:' I am pro-life and find it refreshing to read that the founders of Curves are openly so, as well. The last I heard, we in America are still free to support the causes we believe in. However, I do not support physical violence or verbal abuse to those who do not believe as I do. A friendly conversation will do!

posted Aug 10th, 2008 8:07 pm


I tried Curves before, it does seem to work. However, I didn't join a club. I bought the Curves book for around $13.00 @ BJ's. Maybe some of you can try to gain benefit from the program without having to leave your homes. I did it & I saw results.

posted Aug 4th, 2008 5:33 pm


You only have to sign up for a 1-year committment. It's $39/month. If, for some reason, you want them to stop taking money out of your account, go to your bank and have them put a stop payment on it. Then they can't take the money out. I have been fat most of my life, I felt horrible and unhealthy but I'm losing inches and fat and you know what--my family is going to die of shock and that alone is worth it.

posted Aug 4th, 2008 9:51 am


I was a Curves member about 6 years ago. I stopped going because the location closed that I was going to. I'm going to start up again, because I really liked the workout. I now have one located in my hometown and it's close to where I live. I'm not sure of the hours, but I'll make sure to check everything out before signing any contracts or having any money taken out of my checking account again. I didn't have any trouble getting them to stop withdrawing the funds from my account. It usually takes a written notification to the center that you worked out at and then it takes a couple of months before it stops. (They should refund the money for those months that you don't use the facility). I hope this helps.

posted Jul 31st, 2008 1:01 pm


DEAR HARDWORKER: I think your comment was uncalled for, if you are a Curves rep, you would not be who I would want at my side. Not everyone is going to like Curves, thats just hte way it is in life, but to post such a "bossy" message i think is very unprofessional and i would certainly not want to be at your Curves. The curves i belong too is great and so is the staff and owner. When i go for my workout today, i'm going to bring this up and see what the response is. I can bet its not going to be a positive one.

posted Jul 29th, 2008 8:34 am


I have not been too happy with the club, been measured 5 times by different staff members and each time something different. Been quite a few times and no one on the floor. I think it depends on your body type. I get better results from pilates and swimming than weights.

posted Jul 29th, 2008 8:34 am


NOT for tall women. I'm 6 feet tall. The equipment is not adjustable and there were a couple of the machines I couldn't use because the proportion was way off. I tried to make the most of it, but after a few months I hurt my back on one of the machines and haven't been back. Too bad!

posted Jul 28th, 2008 9:11 am


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